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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 04, 1989

EAST GERMAN MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY, 'NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL, AND BALLISTIC MISSILE POTENTIAL OF SELECTED THRESHOLD COUNTRIES' (EXCERPT)

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    Iraq's WMD capacity as of October 1989 from Stasi Perspective
    "East German Ministry of State Security, 'Nuclear, Chemical, and Ballistic Missile Potential of Selected Threshold Countries' (excerpt)," October 04, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU Archives, Berlin, ZA, HVA, 813, pp. 238-245. Translated from German by Bernd Schaefer; available in original language at the Parallel History Project. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112678
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Iraq does not possess nuclear weapons. Its industrial base does not permit a production of such kind of weapons in a foreseeable future. There also is no research going on. In contrast, the country has substantially amplified its capacities to produce chemical weapons. Applying respective imports from all the major Western European countries, including the Federal Republic of Germany, it is producing psycho-toxic (Tabun, Sarin), skin-infecting (Yperit) and paralyzing agents, altogether more than 1.000 tons per year. Iraqi forces possess hundreds of 100 and 250 kilogram air fighter bombs, air fighter containers, containers with detonators, as well as between 3.000 and 5.000 pieces of artillery, including those of 155 millimeter caliber. Production of single chemical warheads for tactical missiles are in preparation. Units specialized in chemical warheads to be delivered by 155 millimeter howitzers have been integrated in the Army's artillery brigades. Army and Air Force exercise the use of chemical weapons in combat and protection from them. Special forces do exist for protection during chemical warfare according to the Soviet model.

Iraq is running an extensive program to modernize missiles acquired from the USSR and China. As a result of modernizing the Soviet missile 8K14, and with the support from specialists from Egypt, Brazil, and West Germany, they produced the missiles “Al Hussein” (range: 650 kilometers, warhead: 200 kilograms max.) and “Al Abbas” (range: 900 kilometers). Both missiles are capable of carrying conventional as well as chemical warheads. Potentially Iraq might be able to modernize about 180 missiles per year. Other efforts are concerned with the domestic production of a tactical missile ranging 1.500 kilometers, and with joining the Argentine project “Condor-2”.